Islam: Day 24 – Dog Walk Mysticism

Izzie, my prayer companion
Izzie, my prayer companion

My girlfriend and I are dog-sitting for a friend of ours, which I’m very excited about. The dog is a Golden Doodle (a golden retriever and poodle mix) that got none of the poodle genes and looks very much like a golden retriever. Her name is Izzie.

This morning I woke up at 4:30 AM to do my prayer.

I got up, performed Wudu, and when I get out of the bathroom, Izzie is waiting for me, excited that I’m up so early.

I set up the yoga mat that I use for prayer in the living room, and start my prayer. Halfway through my second Rakat (cycle), Izzie decides it’s a good idea to plop down on my yoga mat.

Now, it’s hard to focus on God when you have a 46-pound Golden Doodle getting in the way of your prostration, but I did my best to not laugh and just brushed her aside and complete the prayer.

Of course, what Izzie wants is a walk, so I put on her leash and we head outside.

At 4:45 on a Saturday morning, there is no one outside. It’s still dark, and I have the neighborhood to myself….well…I share it with Izzie.

While Izzie was sniffing and exploring the various bushes of Arlington, I was able to take advantage of the time to just think and reflect. I wasn’t distracted by a computer or other people; I was alone with my thoughts.

This made me think that a good, morning dog walking routine is like a good morning prayer ritual. It’s at the same time everyday, it allows you time to think and reflect, and leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

Time to get my own dog….